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Chamber selects businesses of the year
Thursday night, Dec. 16, the membership of the Upper Snoqualmie
Valley Chamber of Commerce gathered at the Snoqualmie Ridge Golf Club
for their annual Christmas Gala.
As in the past, the naming of the business of the year and new
business of the year provided one of the highlights of the evening. For
Kimberley Karrick of Snoqualmie Valley Eyecare Associates, learning her
organization had received business of the year honors also came as something of a shock.
"We were surprised," she said Monday. "We weren't even
Owned by Karrick and her husband Bryan, Snoqualmie
Valley Eyecare Associates joined the chamber in December 1996 and just this
last March moved into its new, remodeled location at 408 Maine Ave. S in
North Bend. Karrick says that since their short move _ only a few doors
down _ business has continued to boom.
"We recently took over the practice of Dr. Maurice Olson, who
retired," she commented. "We are now the only eye care facility in this
end of the Valley."
Karrick added they provide a full range of eye care and optometry
services, from pre- and post-operation assistance to laser vision
correction, diabetic management and emergency eye care, as well as contact lenses
Safari's Pizza, 8103 Falls Ave. S.E. in Snoqualmie, received accolades
as the Upper Valley's new business of the year. Owners Penny and
Harold Nesland opened their pizza place in the back of the Snoqualmie
Falls Candy Factory on Sept. 1, 1998, and now employ over 20 people.
According to chamber director Susan Hankins, picking Safari for
the award was not a difficult process.
"Since they have moved, they have jumped right in and supported
the community," she said. "He has a belief system that you need to give
back. He's always had that, even in his landscape business."
While operating their landscape company, the Neslands
donated monthly upkeep for seven baseball fields. This approach of service to
the community has continued into their pizza business, through which
they've started fund-raising programs for non-profit organizations like schools
and sports groups.
Safari's sponsors four pizza nights a month, giving 20 percent of the
sales to the targeted organization. Harold Nesland estimates they gave
$15,000 last year to schools and organizations, and said they hope to reach
$20,000 this year.
"I think that the chamber's always happy to see energetic new
business in the Valley," Hankins concluded.
"I think it's wonderful. We have such neat, energetic new people that
are starting something in the Valley. It's delightful."